Dogging Up

Today was spent installing the last of the sleeper plates and dogging everything up.

It’s come up looking smart and hopefully once we’ve installed the 10 or so concrete sleepers required to replace the failed timber and cleaned up all the jewellery it’ll look very smart. Tomorrow will hopefully also see a bit of jacking and tamping to remove a few dips, bringing this up to a very high standard.

We did and accurately measure of just how much we’ve re-railed, with the up leg having 299m of 94lb installed and the Down leg having 325m installed, not a bad effort given we were expecting bad weather (which hasn’t yet arrived)

Meeting just up the bike track from Muckleford station around 8.15am tomorrow.


Another 300m (approx) of 94lb rail installed today, this time the other leg of yesterday’s section.

We flew through it, with the bulk of work finished just after lunch.

The 94/80/60 Junction section was cascaded down to the new rail junction location, all just so easy and convenient with the array of machines we have available now.

As the weather is looking poor for the next week (well pour in terms of trying to work in it) and we’ve got another big level crossing rebuild coming up very shortly, it’s unlikely we’ll achieve much more here in the short term, probably more in the tidying up and finishing off than ploughing ahead with more re-railing.

There will be workdays on Thursday and Friday, but check back Wednesday night for details as the weather may alter things a lot.


With a slightly bigger than expected crowd, today saw an very nice bonus amount of 94lb installed on tangent 12-13.

We’ve re-railed the Down leg from the curve we were working on last week to where the digger is sitting, a length of approximately 300m.

A really keen eye will note the home signal in the background, we started about 80m this side of that.

An excellent effort for today’s small team of 5, with lots of drop out and preparation work undertaken before we set about changing rails just after lunch time. So far everything has been clipped up to the 1 in 3 concretes, but we’re yet to finalise the closure back to the 60lb.

Given the rather wet forecast for Wednesday and beyond, tomorrow might be our last decent workday this week. Hopefully by the end of tomorrow we’ll have the UP leg re-railed to the same location, closures completed and be well under way with clean up. Meeting Maldon 7.30am or Muckleford from 8.15am.

Curve 13

Well the low leg of Curve 13 is now all heavy rail, in long lengths and all fastened down. Sorry about the photos, for some reason the software has changed again and decided to make them small for some reason!

In almost record time, by morning tea we had everything unfastened and most of the new rail more or less in place.

As this section was all timber, we made good use of our new tools, custom made by Ian. Sleeper plate shover under-ers. The certainly save hours of backbreaking bending over.

For the first time in years we even dragged out the hydraulic gauger, not often we need this these days as the gauge is generally very uniform across the Railway, but it is very handy doing this sort of work holding the gauge while drilling timber.

At the UP end, we’re into the straight and we’ve found a short welded Junction rail, to drop the rail size from 94lb to 80lb so we can use standard 80lb/60lb junction plates. As we progress the re-railing this length will get cascaded along. We’ve got a similar piece ready for the other leg.

After running through with the gauging run of 1 in 3, a quick tamping pass to make sure everything was hard up against the rail made the finally drilling and dogging run much quicker.

A well organised process these days, taking no time at all.

As we were running well ahead of schedule, we replaced 25 failed timber sleepers with concrete.

Some final tamping and removal of a dip just past the road crossing (unconnected with the job but nice to remove while on site) has left this length of track looking very nice.

Today saw us re-rail 241m of rail, almost all of which was on timber sleepers, 25 sleepers replaced and everything finished besides tidying up! A pretty amazing effort! Next week we’ll be tidying up and tackling the straight, which should happen very quickly as we’re back into 1 in 3 concrete sleeper territory.

We’ll have workdays on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday for anyone interested, meeting Maldon 8am on Monday or out at Muckleford from 8.30am.